Tuesday, June 25, 2019

I'm Back on JFK Mission


I'm back and ready and raring to get back to serious JFK research after a grueling but exciting 10-12 hour 16 day tour of duty without a break, except for a half day overlay due to serious extreme weather conditions that closed the whole base.

In the field for most of the time, we clocked 1700 miles on our vehicle, and completed dozens of scenarios in helping to train US Army soldiers prior to deployment in possible combat zones abroad. While I can't describe exactly what we do, there are a few things that have a bearing on the assassination that I want to mention that fit into JFKCountercoup and our work on this subject.

The first is one of my fellow COBs. The military puts everything into acronyms, and ours is Citizens On the Battlefield - and one of the guys who works with me - this was not our first exercise together - is Iggy - that I think is the nickname for Ignatious.

The other related item that came up during my work with the Army was my interaction with first class Army snipers - who taught me a lot and gave me their opinions as to what went down at Dealey Plaza that day. This is a subject that I will devote more time to in a subsequent article and blog post. Until then I want to introduce you to Iggy.

One day during the middle of an exercise, one of the team leaders asked us who was born in 1941 - and Iggy sheepishly raised his hand and acknowledged it was him in his broken English-Spanish.

Apparently the secretaries back at the front office near Langley noticed his birthday and put out a warning for the team leaders to keep an eye on him because of his age. But Iggy didn't back down or slow down. When they needed a male to be one of the three killed in a skirmish - he volunteered, and did a good job of dying.

Iggy is Cuban, and like about half of our COB unit, he is a veteran - US Army. During a downtime over lunch I talked with Iggy, as I have in the past, as I find his story fascinating.

Born in Cuba to a large family he was there in April 1961 during the Bay of Pigs, but shortly thereafter defected as a refugee to Florida, and offering to fight Castro, was told to join the US Army. Sent to Fort Knox for training, Iggy says he was assigned to Brigade A174 - the Cuban Regiment that eventually numbered 18,000 men, all Cubans, complete with Spanish speaking trainers and officers.

They were given an accelerated basic training, so they were ready by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 - and he says, were mobilized for combat and readied to invade Cuba three times - once put on a ship off the coast of Cuba, but each time they were called back and told to stand down.

This reminded me of the story of the Cuban Pathfinders trained at JMWAVE to infiltrate Cuba and assassinate Castro, as they too were ordered sent in three times, and each time they were called back and told to stand down, which for them was a very frustrating experience, as it was for Iggy and the A174 Brigade.

Yet, he remains optimistic, proud to be an American, goes to mass every Sunday with his family, and is sad that he has lost four of his brothers in the past few years.

Iggy is a neighbor of mine who I often run into at the local supermarket - and while on this mission he turned me on to mangos - a really delicious Caribbean fruit that I now enjoy as much as possible.

During another downtime in our exercise - while we were preparing for another engagement - he said, since I was a writer and historian - did I know about the Ladies of Havana?

As he explained it to me, "just Google it:" he said, and as I have since confirmed - the Ladies of Havana, at the time of the American Revolution, supported our cause - and at the request of French admirals Jean Bapiste Rochambeau and Francois Joseph Paul De Grasse, the society women of Havana, who hated the English from their previous occupation of the city - donated money and mainly jewelry, diamonds, silver and gold that amounted to $28 million dollars in today's worth.

While this tidbit of revolutionary fact has not been reported in most history books, it is an established fact, as reported in this article.  

France's role in helping the colonists fight the British troops in the War of Independence is well known. But did you know about the "ladies of Havana"? They played a critical role in the battle that led to the end of the Revolutionary War - the Yorktown campaign.......The Cuban women, most likely well-to-do ladies who belonged to cultural patriotic associations that were common in the Spanish colonies of the time, and the Cuban merchants donated jewelry, diamonds and about 1.2 million pounds sterling. This is precisely the amount that Rochambeau had asked Adm. Francois Joseph Paul de Grasse to raise on his way from the Caribbean Antilles to the Chesapeake Bay to fight Cornwallis.

And so it was that Cuba, which was a rich center of trade for the Spanish, came through for old George.

"The million that was supplied . . . by the ladies of Havana, may, with truth, be regarded as the 'bottom dollars' upon which the edifice of American independence was erected," American historian Stephen Bonsal wrote in When the French Were Here (published by Doubleday, Doran and Co. in 1945).

And so my friend and fellow COB Iggy - not only helped explain the American-Cuban situation during the Kennedy administration, that we know played such a significant role in his murder, but also educated me about the role of the Ladies of Havana who supported our own revolution and independence. 

And now that I am back in action, and promise to post new and informative items on a daily basis through the rest of the year - leading up to CAPA's November 22-23 conference in Dallas, I ask you to be the Ladies of Havana - and support my work, my research and writing and JFKCountercoup, at least for the next few critical months - as I really believe we can wrap up this case - the assassination of President JFK, to a legal and moral certainty, without the still withheld records, before this year is out. 

I don't need much - just a few grand - while the opposition writers like Max Holland get six figure a year salaries from the CIA to promote their propaganda, all I am asking for is $3,000 to keep me going for the rest of the year. Support me as best you can and I promise I won't disappoint you. 

I especially appreciate the $20 - $40 contributions - as that is in my category of what I can afford to give to my causes - and I will put it to good use. 

My report on the Snipers' opinions of the Dealey Plaza Operation is Up Next. Stay Tuned. 

No comments: